“The punk community in Richmond is cool. It’s not the biggest city, so it’s a very tight knit group. Everyone does their best to participate in shows. We are fortunate to have a few stable venues that are really cool. I recommend anyone passing through our town to stop in at Strange Matter for a show.”
Lost Tribe is comprised of five guys; Shravan on bass, Cory on guitar, Davey sings, JK plays synth and Kyle on drums. They are from Richmond, Virginia and have been in bands including Aghast, SSR, Caves Caverns, Syndrome, and Empty Grave.
Listening to Lost Tribe, you can definitely hear the influences of ’80s post-punk, goth, hardcore punk, and coldwave, but then there are also unexpected elements like the keyboard player who “doesn’t really come from a hardcore background. He’s classically trained. When Lost Tribe goes on tour he is listening to psychedelic or house music. It’s just not as cut and dry as you would expect.” I was interested how these guys started playing this type of music and also, what the reaction from the Richmond scene was to changing styles. “When we first started playing this kind of music, it went over kind of mixed. Some people in the punk/hardcore community loved it, others not so much. Overall, though, we have had overwhelming support internationally and locally, and from different types of people. A lot of times we play mixed bill shows (indie/punk/experimental/electronic) and we’ll have a really good response unexpectedly. The cross appeal Lost Tribe seems to have is really cool.”
SO, WHY MCALLEN?
“We are definitely excited about the tour. I think everyone is really excited about being in Chicago again; a lot of places we are playing some of the guys in the band haven’t been before. We played Chicago once before and it was a blast. I’m personally really excited for all the gigs though. Tour is an adventure; you learn to take it in whole.”
Being at least 5 hours from any major city, I always wonder why a band makes the trip and spends tons of time and money on gas driving to the end of nowhere aka the RGV, except maybe if they are about to embark on a tour through Mexico. To an outsider, what is the appeal? Have they ever heard of the RGV before? Are they getting a badass guarantee? Shravan confirms that they really had to seek it out. “We’ve never been to McAllen and didn’t even know who to contact. Some friends who have played there before recommended it.” I like this answer so I ask him if he wants to go Goth dancing at Metropolis after the show. He says of course.
“The song writing process is never really the same. Generally we will have a rough idea, maybe some riffs, and bring it to practice and keep chipping away until we have something we like. The sound hasn’t really changed all that much, we are just getting better at song writing.”
This five song demo tape, “The Dawn,” was self-released by Lost Tribe in the fall of 2010 and recorded with JK (the current synth player in Lost Tribe). All the artwork was done by a friend, Andrew Scully, and the guitar player, Cory, designed the layout because “he is Photoshop savvy.” In October 2011, they released their self-titled vinyl, which was recorded both by themselves and at the Minimum Wage studio in Richmond. It was released on two labels; they went with Blind Prophet records “after meeting Sean from Cult of Youth who ran the label … a super nice guy and very stoked on our sound. I thought it would be cool to have our first LP come out on a mix genre post-industrial label like he does;” and on Distort Reality in Portland which is run by a friend, Skell. In May of 2012, they released a five song self-titled tape.
These days, it doesn’t seem like the majority of people are learning about or hearing new music through zines or compilation tapes, but rather through social media like Facebook and Bandcamp. I ask how bands approach this shift in media consumption and dissemination. “New social media has just further enabled the DIY scene. It is now easier than ever to promote and disseminate your sound. But because of it, there’s definitely an oversaturation of bands. I think to stand out, you still have to rip!”
So what’s next? Well, there is the upcoming 11-day U.S. Hallows Eve tour with a show here in McAllen on Oct. 30 with Japanese to English at Simon Sez and the next day in Austin on Halloween with Criaturas at 29th Street Ballroom. What can you expect from the show? I’ve heard rumors of smoke machines…
“Of course! We have a lot of cool equipment that people in McAllen will see at our show. Haha, I’m not going to ruin the surprise.”
Other than that they are headlining Subversion Fest in San Francisco in December and planning a European tour for next year.
Thanks to Shravan for talking and emailing with me to make this interview possible!
Bands you recommend from Richmond: Pissheads, Orgasm, Devils Hand
Advice for local bands: All I’d have to stay is stick with it! Bands are an incredible amount of work if you want to try to get somewhere with it.